At the recently finished stage of the Balkan Grand Prix in Cetinje (MNE) I was lucky to claim the first price. I consider as my best effort the game versus GM Miso Cebalo.
Cebalo,Miso (2476) - Bojkov,Dejan (2521) [A68]
Memorijal Danilo - Dajo Batricevic Cetinje (7.2), 15.08.2009
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f4 0–0 6.Nf3 c5 I decided to deviate from my usual 7...Na6. Cebalo is a very aggressive player, and somehow I expected this line. 7.d5 e6 8.Be2 exd5 9.cxd5 Bg4 10.0–0 Nbd7 11.Re1 Re8 12.h3 Bxf3 13.Bxf3 Qa5 14.Be3 b5 15.a3 Nb6 16.Bf2 Nc4 17.Qc2 Nd7
18.a4 Now it is the term of the Croatian Grandmaster to surprise. My preparation was concentrated on the move: [18.Be2 which Cebalo had used three times according to my base- 18...Rab8 19.a4 b4 20.Nb5 Nxb2 21.Nxd6 b3 22.Qb1 Nxa4 (22...Red8 23.e5 Nxa4 24.Bd1 Rb4 25.Bxb3 Rdb8 26.Qa2 Rxb3 27.Qxa4± and White won in 1–0 Cebalo,M (2465)-Rasic,D (2283)/Pula 2001/CBM 082 ext (40)) 23.Ra3 Red8 (23...c4 24.Nxe8 Bf8 25.d6 Qb4was unclear in 0–1 Cebalo,M (2520)-Balcerak,J (2413)/Biel 2000/CBM 077 ext (51)) 24.Rxb3 Nc3 25.Nc4 leads to sharp position with vast scope for improvement for both sides–Ѕ–Ѕ Cebalo,M (2510)-Mohr,G (2474)/Rabac 2003/CBM 096 ext (43)] 18...b4 This seems like an only move to me. However it seems that Black is now doing more than good. 19.Nb5 a6 20.Qxc4 axb5 21.Qxb5 Later on I dicovered a game in the line- [21.axb5 Qxa1 22.Rxa1 Rxa1+ 23.Kh2 Bxb2 (23...Nb6 might also be tested) 24.b6 Ra5 25.b7 f6 and now the simple- (25...Rb8
seems to give an edge for Black.) 26.Bg4 0–1 Sladkov,A-Makarov,S/Dagomys 2004/EXT 2005 (35)] 21...Qxb5 22.axb5 Bxb2 23.Rxa8 I was planning to meet the move- [23.Ra6 with 23...Rxa6 24.bxa6 Ra8 25.Be2 Nb8 (25...Bc3!? is also interesting)winning the pawn on a6. However now the central breakthrough 26.e5 wins in force, and probably this should have been preferred by White.] 23...Rxa8 24.e5 Bc3! 25.Rb1 [Or- 25.Rd1 b3 26.exd6 b2 27.Rb1 Ra1 28.Be4 and now Rybka suggests the slightly paradoxal retreat- 28...Ra4!? concretely picking up the f4 pawn.] 25...Rb8 I believe this is the main enemy for me-the b passer. The central pawn mass can be stopped by the combined efforts of the black pieces. Alternatively, I was also considering the line- [25...dxe5 26.d6 Ra1 Worse seems to be the line (26...Rd8 27.Bc6 exf4 28.Bxd7 Rxd7 29.Bxc5 with very unclear consequences) 27.Rxa1 Bxa1 The engines highly praise the arising position, but I disliked- 28.Bc6 b3 29.Bd5 b2 30.Ba2 exf4 31.Kf1
where my bishop is excluded from the game.] 26.e6 [26.exd6 Rxb5 is good for Black.] 26...Nf6 27.g4 I was mainly expecting something like: [27.Be2 Nxd5 28.exf7+ Kg7 (28...Kf8) ; 27.exf7+ Kg7 28.Be2 Ne4!?
where the connected passers look rather dangerous. Nevertheless, this might be a better chance for White.] 27...Rxb5 28.g5 Ne8 29.Be2 Rb8 30.Bc4 Kf8 31.f5 I did not seriously expect this. White gives away too much material, and I may afford to give back some part of it later. 31...gxf5 32.Bh4 Rb7 Good profilactical move. e6-e7 idea is now excluded, and an exchange sacrifice is coming up soon. 33.Kg2 Ng7 34.Kf3 Be5 I was already considering the exchange sacrifice- [34...fxe6 35.dxe6 Re7 36.g6 hxg6 37.Bxe7+ Kxe7 38.Rg1 Nxe6 39.Rxg6 Nd4+ 40.Ke3 Black is obviously better, but is he surely winning?! The move in the text keeps all the advantages of the position without forcing anything. Next I am going to use the rook on the open a file. In time trouble Cebalo tried also to improve his bishop:] 35.Bb3 but found an unfortunate square for it, since after: 35...fxe6 36.dxe6 Re7 37.g6 hxg6 38.Bxe7+ Kxe7 39.Rg1 Nxe6
The threat of the knight fork forces White to exchange his bishop, and the resulting position is easily winning for Black. 40.Bxe6 Kxe6 41.Rxg6+ Kf7 42.Rg1 c4 43.Ke2 b3 0–1